Train travel For Members

The key things you need to know about Norway's Bergen Line

Frazer Norwell
Frazer Norwell - [email protected] • 6 Jan, 2023 Updated Fri 6 Jan 2023 13:34 CEST
image alt text
Here is what you need to know about Norway's Bergen Line railway. Pictured is a train in Oslo. Photo by Magnus Engø on Unsplash

The Bergen Line connects Norway's two biggest cities by rail and is one of Europe's most picturesque train journeys. However, you should know a few things before you hop aboard.

One of Norway's busiest and most popular railway lines, the Bergenbannen (Bergen Line) connects Norway's east and west coasts. 

While flying may be quicker for travelling between Norway's two largest cities, the Bergen Line, operated by state-owned VY, is popular with residents and tourists alike for many reasons. 

One factor for this is that it is often considered one of Europe's most picturesque train journeys. But there's more than just the views that you should be excited and aware of before you book. 

We've compiled the key things you need to know about the Bergen Line. 

The journey itself 

Winding up and down mountains and crossing plateaus takes time to get to one side of the country from another. 

The journey spans 500 kilometres and takes around six and a half hours to complete. 

Comparatively, a flight from Oslo to Bergen takes just 55 minutes, so you'll definitely be taking the scenic route rather than the express train. 

When aboard, you'll find that Vy's train is perfectly outfitted for such a long journey, though. The seats give decent leg room and recline, there are plenty of toilets, and ample room for baggage. In addition, there's a cafeteria cart with seating where you can have a hot meal or a drink while you watch the journey from a window seat. 

Those travelling with young children will be pleased to know that the trains have a playroom or nursery cart where kids can let off some steam. 

There is also the option of taking a night service. Night trains have sleeper cars with two beds per compartment, a restaurant and second-class seating.

They leave their starting terminal at 11 and arrive at their final destination before 6:30am. 

You will be in for a treat

Despite how well-equipped and comfortable the train is, you are unlikely to notice as you'll likely spend most of your time looking out the window. 

Named one of the best railway lines in Europe by travel mag The Lonely Planet, the Bergen Line acts as a greatest hits of Norway's landscape. 

The first leg of the trip from Oslo to Geilo passes through lakes, forests and mountain scenery before ascending to Finse and passing along the Hardangerjøkulen glacier and the Hardangervidda plateau. 

Below you can see a picture of some of the views you will be treated to on the Bergen Line. 

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Kirsten Bork (@kibo1975)

There are plenty of great places to get off

Even if you don't see the journey through from beginning to end, there are plenty of destinations worth getting off at along the way. 

The mountain village of Geilo is a popular destination for alpine and Nordic skiers in Norway. 

Additionally, the highest point of the journey Finse, has a lot of incredible local history. Firstly, it was the filming location for the ice planet of Hoth in Star Wars. It also served as the training base for Robert Falcon Scott's South Pole Expedition in 1912. 

Best of all is Myrdal, which is home to the Flåm Railway. If the Bergen Line is one of the most picturesque train journeys in Norway, then the Flåm Railway is the most picturesque. 

Below you can see a video from the Flåm Railway. 

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Sonja Olsen - Interior designer (@sonja_ols)

Tickets are expensive

One downside to the journey is that tickets can be incredibly expensive if you don't book in advance. 

Tickets for journeys can cost over 1,000 kroner if not booked in decent time. Another issue is that securing tickets on a good deal can be pretty hard. 

This is because ticket prices are mostly based on demand, meaning tickets go up in price as more tickets are booked. 

Due to there only being a few departures a day, most trains get relatively booked up. 

One silver lining is that Vy will run a few sales a year where tickets can be purchased for around 300-400 kroner each. Considering the length of the journey and the facilities onboard, this is actually a pretty good deal. 

Another option for securing a cheap ticket is the 'minipris' ticket. 

More

Comments

Frazer Norwell 2023/01/06 13:34

Please keep comments civil, constructive and on topic – and make sure to read our terms of use before getting involved.

Please log in to leave a comment.

See Also